Where to see China’s longest graffiti street

Where to see China’s longest graffiti street

Soaring into the sky above the Yangtze’s muddy waters, muscular skyscrapers and multi-span bridges dominate the skyline of modern Chongqing. Yet despite the ubiquity of slick glass façades and massive concrete infrastructure, Bohemian whimsy is flourishing in south-western China’s largest city. You just need to know where to look.

Home to a campus of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (SCFAI), one of China’s most prestigious art universities, Huangjueping District is Chongqing’s pre-eminent hotbed of creativity. And where better to express that creativity than on the sides of local buildings?

Extending over a kilometre from the local hospital to the 501 Art Warehouse, Tuya (“Graffiti”) Street is Huangjueping’s attention-grabbing artistic showcase. Hundreds of SCFAI students have transformed the walls and windows of apartment blocks here into a riot of colour, as unicorns, monkey-men, and three-eyed monsters stare down at passers-by. A collection of more intricate streetside portraits complements the visual smorgasbord.

With a growing number of galleries, Huangjueping is gradually developing a reputation to rival Beijing’s 798 Art District. Check out the wall art, move onto the more serious contemporary art studios of the 501 space (a former tobacco factory), before ­rounding things off with a latte in a local ­coffee shop. You might even catch the doodlebug yourself.

Text and photos Daniel Allen

 

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